Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chickpea Protein Cake

Well the title is for folks who don't know about Dhokla. In fact I recently learnt that Dhokla made from besan or channa dal is actually Khaman. I didn't quite come up with the recipe but followed a few from the internet. The one that worked for me is from Anuja and Hetal. I have a link to their youtube video. Now some facts on channa dal Alton Brown style.


Chickpea or Garbanzo bean is one of the first domesticated crops by humans. There are two varieties of chick peas, desi chickpea (on the left in the picture) and kabuli chickpea. According the wikipedia, the kabuli chickpea is the closest to the wild chickpea and has markedly higher fibre content and a very low glycemic index.Channa Dal is split desi chickpea without the outer coat. Chickpea has been a dependable form protein in vegetarian cultures for generations.

I watched several videos and read several recipes and embarked on my Khaman journey. Like many I opted for the quick and easy instant method using Besan (chickpea flour). The Dhokla (Khaman to be correct) came out pasty and sticky. So my take two began with a bit more dilligence.

I usually make the no frills version with no tempering, coconuts or chillis.

1. Channa dal 1 cup.
2. Urad Dal 1 tbsp
3. 1/3 cup of yogurt.
4. Salt to taste
5. 1 tsp ENO - Fruit salt. (you could use Baking soda instead as in the video).

1. Wash and combine Channa and Urad Dal and soak it for 2-3 hours.
2. Drain and blend it in a Food processor until its granular like sugar.
3. Add the yogurt and salt to mix well.
4. Set aside overnight to ferment. The fermenting process works very well in summer but not so great in winter (depending upon where  you live).
5. Add ENO salt to the mixture and steam for about 10 min.

Footnote: ENO is added to the mixture to create Co2 which when escapes causes the mixture to become spongy. Alternatively you could use lemon juice and baking soda. Bakingsoda NaHCo3 reacts with strong acid Lemon juice to release Co2. I wonder if I could use the same technique to make instant idlis!

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